Berlin-based UPPER gets seed funding to develop curated freelancer marketplace for European tech


The newest freelancer marketplace on the block, Berlin-based UPPER has raised an undisclosed seed round, with a lead investment from Cavalry Ventures and backing from and business angels.

Founded earlier this year (doesn’t even have a Crunchbase page yet!), the German startup is building ‘the tech freelance OS,’ where freelancers can manage their careers from end to end, employers can find contractors and build products, all with a white glove touch.

The idea is to provide the transparency of a job platform like Upwork, but make it less of a crapshoot by vetting and curating the job candidates, who will be mostly developers, designers or product managers. They will be matched to projects by “CTO-level tech experts,” with everything based on a transparent service-fee business model.

Though still currently in closed beta mode, the business is making moves to establish large bases of candidates and clients. To build up the talent pool, the startup has local sourcers in tech hubs such as Berlin, Bucharest, Stockholm and Sofia to find and vet candidates.

UPPER is led by young tech veterans with experience at companies with large online communities. CEO Victor Cazacu, who previously founded MVP Factory and was Head of Mobile at N26, teamed up with Paul Friedrich, ex-Director of EMEA Operations at Applause, and Ivan Bernat, previously Head of Technical Talent at Andreessen Horowitz-backed Toptal, a global network of freelance software engineers and designers.

The team will use the fresh funding to build out the tech platform, develop internal tools and processes and grow both sides of the marketplace.

Photo: Victor Cazacu and Paul Friedrich

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